Skin Specifics: How to Diagnose an Oily Skintype

diagnosing oily skin

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to assume their skin is sebum-prone if they have a slightly shiny T-zone and a fairly average everything else. That just means you've got a combination skintype, because an oily complexion is something else altogether, typically producing four times as much sebum as other types.

You can also help to diagnose yourself as oily if you have:

  • Skin that is shiny all the time
  • Large, open pores, especially across the cheeks and nose
  • Blackheads
  • A lot of breakouts
  • A problem with makeup not lasting
  • A problem with foundation changing colour (or oxidising)
  • You may also have an 'orange-peel' look and feel to your skin

Is that you? If so, read after the cut to see what you can do to work with your skintype.


“Because this skinype produces so much oil and accumulates skin cells in the pores, exfoliation is so important,” stresses beauty therapist Paula Cuddihy of Urbana, who reckons that Dermalogica's Microfoliant is a Godsend. While there's a temptation to not use moisturiser to add to the oil-slick, you really do need to hydrate your skin. “Use an oil-free moisturiser,” advises Paula, who says you need to hydrate without adding oil, and this is the way to do it.


Disclaimer: we can't diagnose your skintype for you as a) we can't see you and b) we're not professional beauty therapists or skin experts. Please take the above advice as general information which may help you to understand your skin a little better, and not the word of the law - everyone is different and what suits you may not suit someone else, and vice versa.

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